Areas of specialty
Areas of speciality:
BA (University of Pretoria, South Africa)
BA (Hons) Psychology (University of Pretoria, South Africa)
MA (Clinical Psychology) (University of South Africa)
Diploma in Industrial Relations (The Institute of Administration and Commerce of Southern Africa)
Diploma in Personnel Management (The Institute of Administration and Commerce of Southern Africa)
I am registered with the New Zealand Psychologists Board in the Clinical Scope of Practice
Member of the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists (NZCCP)
Clinical Member of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abuse (ANZATSA)
Member of the Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and the Law (ANZAPPL)
Experience and current work environments
I have practised Clinical Psychology for 20 years, the last 15 of which have been devoted to Forensic Psychology in New Zealand. I currently work for the Forensic Psychiatric Service (Canterbury District Health Board) as well as having a Private Practice (CPSM Consultancy Ltd). I prepare reports for the Court as requested by both the Crown and defence, and testify in court as an expert witness, if required.
Approach to the work
I assess a range of people facing criminal or civil proceedings and who are likely to appear before the Court or Parole Board. My assessments are aimed at helping those in the legal professions to understand why people came to offend, the likelihood of them re-offending (risk assessment), and potential treatment and management options. Many of these cases pertain to alleged sexual offending, an area that I have specific expertise in.
Particular issues assessed for criminal and civil court cases:
• Sexual, violent, and other offending
• Risk assessment (including those facing preventive detention and extended supervision orders)
• Fitness to stand trial
• Insanity/ mental disorders
• Intellectual Disability
• Modes of evidence
• Sentencing issues
• Treatment/ management recommendations
Other issues assessed include interrogative suggestibility, malingering, denial of offending, neuropsychological factors, issues pertaining to memory (as a victim or perpetrator), allegations of childhood sexual abuse, capacity/consent, or treatment options available. I frequently provide second opinions for those who have had assessments done under the Department of Corrections or other providers.
I understand that people facing the criminal justice system often feel overwhelmed, frustrated, disillusioned, and apprehensive about the way in which things are proceeding. It is my role to complete a comprehensive assessment that provides you and your lawyer with the necessary information to make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case. I take a non-judgemental, unbiased approach to each case. Depending on the case, I am likely to ask about your background, work history, relationships, mental health issues, substance use, and offending – to name a few topics. At times, I rely on psychological “tests” to provide additional information. I also rely on a number of internationally recognised tools to help assess level of risk. In the end, I attempt to provide an overview or formulation about what led to the events before the court. I may also provide recommendations about what treatment might prevent further difficulties.
While I conduct a lot of treatment in my role with the Forensic Psychiatric Service, I have only taken on a small number of treatment cases in my Private Practice. I have experience in treating a range of difficulties in those with mental health issues and/or offending behaviours, using both individual and group treatment processes based on a model of
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Given my interest areas, I also lecture post-graduate students of the University of Otago about sexual offending and associated risk assessment. Finally, I remain up-to-date with the current literature in the area, attend training workshops and conferences. I receive (confidential) peer supervision around my work, and I have a strong commitment to working within the Code of Ethics for Psychologists working within Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Fees and services
My rates are available on application. Cases vary significantly but on average, a complete assessment and report takes about 12-13 hours. Court appearances incur additional costs. A vast majority of these reports are funded by Legal Services Agency and can be arranged through lawyers.
I am relatively flexible around times and days-of-the-week. As assessments can last a few hours, it is usually best to contact me directly and discuss what is required.
Articles of interest written for this website
The violent video game controversy
The Christchurch Earthquakes and Ongoing Stress
Teens and internet pornography
Taking threats seriously
Myths and Facts about Sex Offenders
Packed to the Rafters
PO Box 12002